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Many Child Care Programs Closed During the Pandemic. What We Know Now.
Like many organizations, child care programs have been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic. The National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) estimated that half of all child care programs were forced to close their doors to protect the health of their staff and the families they serve.
A new study conducted by researchers at Yale University suggests child care programs that remained open during the COVID-19 pandemic did not contribute to the spread of the virus to providers. Researchers found no differences in COVID-19 outcomes between early educators who continued to provide in-person care for young children and those who did not, as long as programs followed core health and safety practices. This is good news.
Although the impact of COVID-19 on the early childhood field has been devastating, we are hopefully beginning to see light at the end of the tunnel. Now that we know early educators in child care settings did not contribute to the spread of COVID-19, we need to work on re-opening child care programs so that families can return to work. The pandemic has demonstrated that early educators are essential workers and are vital for our economic infrastructure and future prosperity.
Phyllis Kalifeh, Ed.D.
President and CEO
Forum to Lead 2021 Children's Week FloridaTM Efforts
The Children’s Forum is pleased to be the organizing partner for Children’s Week FloridaTM as we move forward to strengthen our collective resolve on behalf of Florida’s children and youth.

Children’s Week FloridaTM is the largest event held at the State Capitol, thanks to collaborative partnerships, targeted outreach efforts, and the support of partners, sponsors, and donors! The event helps provide a platform for children's advocates to deliver the message that every child in Florida deserves to be healthy, ready to learn, and fully equipped to achieve their highest potential.

In the COVID-19 pandemic era, Children’s Week FloridaTM 2021 will incorporate interactive virtual events and signature face-to-face activities (as health and safety permits). Nonetheless, we remain committed to working together to improve the lives of Florida’s children, youth, and families!

This year has given us an opportunity to reflect on past successes and goals for Children’s Week FloridaTM 2021. Please mark your calendars for April 5-9, and plan to join with us as we make children the priority for Florida’s future. For more information about Children's Week FloridaTM , please visit
Is it Time to Renew Your Child Care Credential? We can Help!
The Children's Forum is committed to supporting early educators who work tirelessly to promote positive experiences and outcomes for young children. Did you know that we provide membership opportunities for early educators and professionals in Florida? This affordable membership can also fulfill an important requirement for credential renewals for teachers and directors. In addition, we can assist program directors in obtaining their professional contribution requirement for the renewal of their Director Credential.

Learn more about our membership program and benefits by watching the video or sign-up today by visiting
Help Me Grow® Florida Launches Online Milestone Checklist
Help Me Grow has a new online milestone checklist to celebrate the development of your child or children in your classroom! Visit to complete one today.

Operated by the Children's Forum, Help Me Grow® Florida promotes early identification of developmental, behavioral, or educational concerns, then links children and families to community-based services and supports at no cost to parents and caregivers.

To learn more about your child’s development, visit
Be an Advocate for T.E.A.C.H. and the Early Learning Workforce
Thank you for your support of the T.E.A.C.H. Early Childhood® Scholarship Program and our mission to increase the education, compensation, and retention of the early learning workforce.

We know that early educators are essential for kindergarten readiness, career readiness, and economic recovery. We want business leaders and legislators to know about the incredible work you do, and we need your help!
Tell us how T.E.A.C.H. has made a difference in your life and impacted your career. Call or email your T.E.A.C.H. Counselor and visit to learn more about what you can do to be an advocate for T.E.A.C.H. and early learning. 
Register for the Built to Thrive Virtual Summit for Children
Let’s get down to business to make sure all children in Florida get the strong start they deserve. Join the Children's Movement of Florida on December 8 from 10 a.m. to noon for Built to Thrive, a free virtual summit for Florida children. Hear from national experts and local change-makers who will weigh in on the state of politics, business, and early childhood.

We want you to be part of this movement. Let’s build momentum for a year of progress in 2021. Register for the summit today at
Forum Welcomes Florida Afterschool Network!
The Children's Forum is excited to welcome our newest partner, the Florida Afterschool Network (FAN)! Established in 2005, FAN provides unified leadership to advocate for the development, enhancement, and sustainability of innovative, high-quality afterschool and summer learning programs and policies statewide.

A hallmark of FAN's work has centered around the development of quality standards for afterschool, mapping the availability of programs across the state, and promoting STEM learning and youth entrepreneurship. Last year, FAN released The State of Afterschool and Summer Learning in Florida which drew correlations between the availability of afterschool, juvenile crime, and child welfare. In addition, FAN provides resources and tools including a self-assessment tool, access to grants and professional development.

FAN intends to keep the momentum going with a series of guest blog posts and webinars highlighting best practices and statistics on afterschool quality and availability in Florida. If you are not currently signed up for our biweekly newsletter, you can do so at